Dominant Hamilton takes pole position at Monza

2016 Italian Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton dominated proceedings in qualifying at Monza, taking his seventh pole position of the season.

He left team mate Nico Rosberg behind by almost half a second following a one-sided contest between the two Mercedes drivers.

The only concern for Hamilton was that he flat-spotted one of his tyres in Q2 and will have to start the race on the same rubber.


Ocon’s luckless weekend continued
Lewis Hamilton set a blinding pace from the start of qualifying. His first effort in Q1, a 1’21.854, was six-tenths of a second quicker than his team mate could manage.

He was also a second quicker than the rest of the field. They were led by the Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, who along with team mate Kimi Raikkonen used soft tyres to reach Q2 instead of super-softs.

While Pascal Wehrlein took his Manor through to Q2 but the team’s other car progressed no further as a technical fault prevented Esteban Ocon from setting a lap time.

A late improvement from Fernando Alonso saw both McLarens reach Q2. Alonso’s place came at the expense of a frustrated Daniil Kvyat: “Last corner again” he rued on the radio after missing the cut.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’23.825
18 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1’23.956
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.087
20 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’24.230
21 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1’24.436
22 Esteban Ocon Manor-Mercedes

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Gutierrez took Haas into Q3 for the first time
The Mercedes pair opted to start the race on softs but easily headed the times despite most of their rivals opting for the super-soft tyres. Red Bull were the only exception, but with both their cars occupying the bottom spots in the top ten after their first runs, the pair couldn’t risk not running a second time.

The Red Bulls duly ventured back out on the super-soft tyres and secured places in the top ten. The Mercedes pair also ran again, seeking cleaner runs on the tyres they would start the race on, but as neither improved their laps both will start the race on their original set. Hamilton had reported a flat-spot on the tyres he will start the race on.

Only Vettel, third, and Valtteri Bottas, fourth, remained in the pits – and both held on to their positions. However the second Williams missed the cut – Felipe Massa will start his final Italian Grand Prix from 11th place after lapping half a second slower than his team mate.

Esteban Gutierrez used the upgraded Ferrari engine in the Haas to great effect, claiming the team’s first appearance in Q3.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’22.967
12 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’23.092
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’23.273
14 Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1’23.315
15 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1’23.399
16 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’23.496


Rosberg strained every sinew in his pursuit of Hamilton in the top ten shoot-out, even brushing the gravel at the exit of the Roggia chicane on his first lap. But it wasn’t enough: Hamilton was quicker in all three sectors with his first run and a 1’21.358 was almost three-tenths of a second better than Rosberg could manage.

The gap increased after their final runs, in which Rosberg was unable to find any more time. He crossed the start/finish line before his team mate, but Hamilton elected to complete his lap anyway, emphasising the scale of his victory with a lap almost half a second quicker than his team mate could manage.

Vettel moved up to third place with his final run and another quick lap from Bottas ensured Williams had one of their cars in front of the Red Bulls. The Force India drivers were nip-and-tuck in their battle for eighth place, Sergio Perez narrowly coming out ahead.

Top ten in Q3

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’21.135
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’21.613
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’21.972
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’22.065
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’22.388
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’22.389
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’22.411
8 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’22.814
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’22.836
10 Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1’23.184

2016 Italian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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61 comments on “Dominant Hamilton takes pole position at Monza”

  1. I would like to see the 2nd and 3rd sectors of his lap. I don’t know how can he find nearly 2 tenths or more through ascari and parabolica…

    1. Under braking? He is not known as the “latest of the late brakers” for no reason…

    2. On Sky coverage Paul Di Riesta did an analysis of their laps side by side. From T1 Hamilton was clready ahead and just seemed to stretch his advantage more as the lap progressed. Ham got to the second checkpoint under the bridge much sooner than Rosberg.

  2. Well, we can be sure that the qualifying session is not uploaded to youtube, because they do not allow videos with molestation… What a dominant performance by Ham-the-man.

    1. That’s a rather unfortunate error from you there. I think that the word you are looking for is monetization?

    2. Unfortunately FOM are stuck in the middle ages.

    3. My DVR last weekend messed up the recording of the Indycar race, so I just went to YouTube and watched the whole race there. If only….

    4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      4th September 2016, 0:23

      I could well be wrong, but I think all of you guys missed the joke that @BuffyTom was making. I read it as Youtube’s content policy does not allow videos containing molestation, because Hamilton’s beating of Rosberg was the equivalent to molestation (i.e. Hamilton completely rekt Rosberg).

      But again, I could be wrong.

  3. If not anything else, this will definitely have convinced Massa that he made the right decision to retire!

  4. Unless Lewis and Nico come together again at 1st chicane, there’s very little reason to watch the race past the first 20 laps.

    1. An exciting race doesn’t require that to happen, so even if Lewis and Nico won’t come together the race can still be good.

    2. *past the first 2 laps.

    3. Ferrari could beat Mercedes to the first corner, but if Lewis leads by 1 second after lap 1 it’s pretty much over.

    4. … Well, respectfully I disagree. Doesn’t need to be a wet race at spa to be exciting to watch F1.

    5. It’s boring if you only ever watch racing for the winner. Is football (soccer) boring because only a couple goals are scored? Only if you don’t understand it.

      1. Garbage analogy. How long would u watch football if all the teams played at once, but there was NO COMPETITION for the top spot? It would get old fast, and this race will be no exception. Another snooze-fest with lower teams fighting over table-scraps.

        1. You shouldn’t watch formula 1 then, since it’s been this way since the dawn of time

    6. I dont understand the complaining!!!!!, Red Bull, dominated, Ferrari dominated for ever, and they where superboring not allowing the drivers to compete against each other. Mercedes lets us see a fight, there is drama, badguys, a hero, a comeback! People complaining about Mercedes dominance are being naiv and foolish and goldfish like.

      Also Mercedes are dominating without cheating with flexiwings(Redbull) or by being assisted by Bernie and Max (Ferrari).

      In my view Mercedes superiority makes Redbull and Ferrari look even less competent.

  5. Great quali by Gutierrez. He’s found it the past 3-4 sessions. Would be good to see him higher than 11th .

    1. ironicaly, due to the stupid tyres rule, he’s in a worse position than Massa who’s 11th but has the chance to start on whatever tyres he chooses.

  6. Nearly 5 tenths at Monza between team mates is astonishing. Stonker lap from Lewis. Good job from Seb and Gutierrez as well. Nico needs to work on his body language in press conferences man. He proper looked miffed, but hey it’s just my opinion. Shame that Massa couldn’t make inroads on his final qualy in Monza. Merc are so far ahead though it’s essentially a two horse race and I believe Ham’s long run pace was marginally stronger than Rosberg’s. So I’m not really expecting much tomorrow for the lead, but perhaps further down we might have a race.

    1. Fifth Monza pole for Lewis…

      Obviously, the right track for late braker Lewis. Still half a second is a big gap considering Nico made no apparrent mistake.. And almost a second infront of Ferrari.

      Anyone dares to bet against Ham tomorrow? I cannot see anything but a crash with Rosberg stopping him.

      It is gonna be one booring race prediction…

      1. Like it’s been any different for the last two years? A .05 – 1 sec advantage – per lap – over any competitor tends to do that. Wake me when it’s 2017.

    2. Is it that updated motor Lewis has that contributed to some of that ~0.5s?

      1. What updated motor? Merc keep denying it and in any case Rosberg would have had it too because they both had new engines in Spa.

      2. @9chris9
        Rosberg switched from his 3rd to his 4th PU last week in Spa and has got 1 penalty free engine left. The only difference is that Lewis was ~0.5s faster than Rosberg why is that, when they got exactly the same engine with the same mileage and same update???

        1. Thanks @foreverred
          I heard Lewis had a new motor, didn’t catch any news on Rossberg’s. I had heard or read that Rossberg was at a disadvantage now over ham but would benefit from a further token upgrade in Japan that Ham would need a further penalty to also use.
          FOM should publish those details on their site and app.

  7. It looked like Vettel clearly went out of track limits in his final run in Parabolica. Any chances his time would be cancelled?

    1. Parabolica isn’t a corner, where an advantage lap time-wise can be gained by going off the track with all four wheels.

      1. If time isn’t gained, why do it then?

        Ricciardo also went off the track with 4 wheels earlier, also got away with it.

        1. Because if you carry the speed and don’t go four wheels off then obviously it is faster

    2. There were no warnings/messages from the stewards about which corners that going wide in would have a lap time deleted. Monza is a proper track where going outside the track limits gives no advantage, and is thus self-regulating.

  8. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
    3rd September 2016, 14:48

    Great lap by Lewis! What puzzled me even more was that the tracklimits at parabolica where not enforced. I saw a couple of drivers with 4 wheels outside the white line who did not lose their times. This with the tarmac runoff makes parabolica a much easier coner than in used to be. Such a shame.

    1. Because there is no advantage!

      It makes you slower.

      The reason people end up running wide is they are going too fast, wind, you name it but it is not faster. Hence no penalty.

      I really do wonder if the track limit chaps have ever actually raced or just love a media driven bandwagon.

      Yes there are places it needs enforcing but honestly folks not ever corner is some huge advantage because your a couple of feet off. Particularly fast ones where judgement and speed can lose you the lot.

      1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
        3rd September 2016, 18:05

        Lets assume you are right. In q2 on his last run RIC was 2 tenths slower after than VES after sector 2. RIC exited the parabolica with 4 wheels over the white line. According to your logic, he must have lost some time there aswell. RIC finished his lap 1,5 tenth faster than VES. So what you are saying is that he must have found half a second in the ascari corner alone. That may be possible but that seems highly unlikely to me. I have seen RIC (one of the best qualifiers out there) do it multiple times. To me its seems unlikely that a driver that good makes a mistake over and over, so he must have seen an advantage using that line.

        1. You make a good argument.

          Frankly I think the rules in qually should be simple. If you don’t keep a wheel inside the white line then your time is void. Maybe it’s harsh but, at least then it’s simple.

          1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
            3rd September 2016, 23:57

            Totally agree! At least it’s consistant. It should not be too hard for the best drivers in the world to keep at least 1 wheel inside the white lines.

        2. Yes, except half a tenth does not equal half a second.

          1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
            3rd September 2016, 23:53

            2 tenths after sector two (RIC was behind initially) +1,5 tents RIC was faster +the ‘timeloss’ at parabolica caused by running wide.. Pretty close to half a second if you ask me.

          2. Yeah, I tried to delete my comment after I realized, but looks like it didn’t work

  9. The gap between the highest Toro Rosso and highest Mclaren honda is 0.2 seconds in favor of the Mclaren.
    Remember, the Toro Rosso engine is the one year old one and Honda started in this hybird era 1 year late, so roughly equal engines (in terms of time since entry into F1).

    Yet, Mclaren is only 0.2 seconds ahead of the chassis which probably is fourth or fifth best (Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, may be Force India and Williams depending on track to track) at most on the current grid. So, the Mclaren chassis is not as world-beating as everyone would like us to believe. Additionally, Mclaren is the only chassis on the grid which is compromising the engine (forcing the size-zero philosophy on Honda, elsewhere on the grid; the chassis is getting compromised by the engines). And yet, even with that advantage, Mclaren’s chassis is only 0.2 seconds ahead of the 4th best chassis. And yet they are happy laying all the blame at Honda’s feet.

    1. I agree completely. If anything the Honda engine is a couple of tenths faster than the 2015 Ferrari. The chassis is mediocre at best

    2. Mclaren has not put several upgrades on hold because they would add drag the team cannot afford to have with the current engine

  10. While most teams have their drivers within two tenths of eachother, Rosberg got beaten by almost half a second. He should be ashamed of himself. He inherents good results from a car so dominant, he isn’t deserving it.

  11. We seriously need some competition at the front and this is coming from a die hard Lewis Hamilton fan.

    1. it won’t happen this or next year. I don’t honestly think the guys running F1 want Mercedes to be challenged. I mean why would they keep protecting them like they do, next year Merc will be even stronger against the other teams. It’s ridiculous. Maybe Porsche will give RBR one of their WEC power units.

      1. and yes, it would be nice to see the VAG come in to F1 for RBR, in a unified front and utterly destroy Mercedes.

        1. How have they protected them?

        2. I don’t think FIA is protecting Mercedes, they can’t be punished for doing a better job than the others.

          Still, I’m baffled that after three years
          under the same regulations Merc can be almost one second faster than a upgraded Ferrari in a PU dependent circuit.

          1. the FIA is protecting Mercedes in that they allow rules to be written which amplifies their competitive advantage.

            Question. Should F1 be about innovation and competition, or should it be about losing because you are not the best engine factory to produce power for ONE rule in the sporting regulations?

            There are two competing philosophies I try to illustrate, there is the natural order of things, where the weight of the fuel is penalty enough. In this mode of thinking, a less efficient motor can be carried by a better driver.

            Then you have synthetic controls imposed by political/corporate brands, which strangle competition (a real problem in the private sector) in order to promote/sell their own brand. The less efficient motor cannot be overcome because fuel is too much a determining factor/key determinant. A brand is able to sell a product for teams who only want the spot light, but will never be allowed to compete directly unless it benefits the brand (see Williams @ Silverstone last year, see Mercedes/Toto’s drivers at other teams).

      2. @xsavior
        What has happened since 2014 is that the engine is now allowed to play a part and none of the manufactures or works teams are handicapped because they can’t make gains on the engine because of a unfair equal engine rule that put the ball in the court of the best Aerodynamic designer like 2009-13 and his team that spends far more money in that department than any other manufacturer teams are getting from their board. All F1 needed to do was open engine development and add those bigger tires. Jock Clear said before Q3 at Monza that Putting the best engine and chassis together is not a guarantee for championships anymore, it’s about the whole package. If Red Bull were in the position Mercedes are in now you’d be jumping up and down for joy, according to your comments.
        You should try and come off as a bit more impartial instead of thinking the FIA are conspiring against Red Bull.

      3. Bernie does´nt protect Mercedes!!!! Ferrari is the protected one, a tenth Place gives as much Money as Mercedes winning. And still they cant mount a serious challenge! I would prefer if the cars were identical and very physical, i love the teams and cars but human element is the most intresting.

        Mercedes does not manufacture the other teams cars, wishing them misfortune because the other teams cannot excel is childish. Redbull and Ferrari are the ones performing badly and should earn your flack. Not the team maximizing their performance.

  12. Nice to see the nutcase 3-4 spots behind the Ferraris.

  13. There’s a chance the gap from Hamilton to Rosberg is larger here than we’ve been used to this year because Hamilton’s engine conservation has ended following the replacement engines and penalties in Spa. Rosberg may still be conserving his engines slightly to last the rest of the season. If so, this track would potentially exaggerate this effect during quali, as it’s so power-dominated.

  14. I feel the LH should have taken his engine penalties in Monza. He is very strong here and I feel that he could have won without any SC period. Much easier to overtake at Monza. Any reason why they chose Spa?

    1. They just couldn’t wait any longer they needed a new engine.

    2. Apparently that engine was on it’s last legs. Why risk it? Look back to Hungary 2016 Ham was already stroking it to the finish. On the contrary look at Monza 2015, Rosberg tried to get that little bit more mileage and ended up retiring. Not worth it and I think it was the right decision.

      1. That sounds about right. LH was conserving that engine like no ones business. Thanks guys!!

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